To the editor,
Is that a rainbow you see over Prospect? Maybe after a rainstorm, but you won’t see anything like that on the Town Hall flagpole. As we all know, June is nationally designated as LGBTQ Pride Month. Back in April, resident Andrea Sutton wrote to Mayor Robert Chatfield if he would recognize that by adding the pride flag onto the town’s flagpole to acknowledge that designation.
At virtual Town Council meetings in June, Sutton called the Town Council saying that she never heard back from Mayor Chatfield and to see if it could help. The chairman of the Town Council politely informed her that this was not a Town Council issue. At the June 23 meeting, the mayor finally stated that he won’t put that on the Town Hall flagpole, but he’ll see if he can find another flagpole somewhere else in town.
In America everyone has a right to maintain their own personal viewpoints on almost everything, and that includes Mayor Chatfield. However, all elected officials have a sworn obligation to represent everyone in their community, and the mayor’s refusal to consider perspectives other than his own is an affront to everyone in Prospect. I guess we’ll just have to wait for a thunderstorm before we’ll see anything resembling a rainbow in this mayor’s town.
Thomas J. Galvin
The writer is a former chairman of the Prospect Town Council and a former member and chairman of the Prospect Republican Town Committee.
I think it was the right decision not to fly the Pride Flag at the Town Hall. I would not want any other flags flown on Town Hall property. I believe another location or private property would be a better choice. In my opinion the American flag should be flown at Town Hall (as it already is). The American flag represents ALL American citizens not just a certain demographic.
I support all my fellow residents of Prospect. I don’t not need to fly any particular flag to show my support. Instead I choose to be respectful, helpful, kind and thoughtful. That is how I show my support of anyone I come in contact with. I am a very active volunteer in town and sit on 3 boards/commissions. I come in contact with many many people that I can say I am “supportive of”. Flags are symbols. Actions are much more meaningful.
Flags have meaning especially when flags are flown by the government. The pride flag represents something that not everyone embraces. Flying the pride flag at town hall says the entire town supports it or should support what it stands for. It can be an intimidating and sometimes can be a bullying type of message for those individuals and institutions with conflicting views. There’s already a culture of fear built around speaking out for traditional marriage and family values concerning relationships that are contrary to those represented by the pride flag.
I’m not in any way against what the Pride flag means to many individuals. I just think personal property is best suited for deeply personal beliefs.
I would not ask the town to fly a flag for me because I had breast cancer. I would not ask the town to fly a flag for my Catholic faith. I would not ask the town to fly a flag for my Italian and Russian heritage. I can do that on my own property.
Prospect is a wonderful town with amazing people. We are a tight community that DO support each other. Our daily actions show that support.